there will be a new series of Organic Gardening Classes starting
January 24 at 1:30 at the Chico Grange Hall. We are still in the process
of contacting the presenters, so we will email the list of
presenters and topics to you in a few days. The class will
meet on 6 consecutive Sundays: January 24, January 31, February 7,
February 14, February 21, and February 28. As some of you know, it was a
tremendous amount of work to organize and present the classes last
year. I am pleased to announce that this year Hazel Van Evera will be
handling most of the arrangements. I will be doing more of the
presenting, and interviewing some of the presenters, like the session
with Jimi Logsden about backyard farming with chickens. We will be
presenting the information in a straightforward way so that new
gardeners can get what they need to know to plant their first garden,
and the experts who are presenting will be sharing tips that will be
helpful to even the most experienced members of the class.
Tips: That frost in December hit my citrus pretty hard. Lost all
the fruit, and had quite a bit of dieback on the oranges, and the
youngest Meyer Lemons. The Kaffir Lime may have been killed outright.
Ouch! If your citrus fared better, please email me your secrets. By the
way, we are looking for a presenter on Citrus, and one on beekeeping.
Let me know if you have any leads. Kumquats, Satsuma Mandarins, and
Meyer Lemons seem to be the most frost hardy in our climate. If you can
find trees in 3 to 5 gallon containers, I think planting now is better
than waiting until spring. I don't recommend the smaller sleeve type
pots of citrus.
It is time
plant onion plants if you haven't already, It is not too late in
January, and you can get a small crop even with a February
transplanting. You may find plants at the Farmers' Market or at local
feed stores. If you want to grow them from seed next year, the time to
plant seed is in July or August. Jerry Bonds, the master who taught me
how to grow onions will be one of our presenters, and he will be
answering questions on onions, potatoes, melons, corn and more. Jerry
started growing as a boy and he is one of the best gardeners I have ever
met. Not to be missed.
is bound to
be a "planting window" coming up sometime in February. We get some warm
dry days, and if you are ready, it is an ideal time to plant spinach,
beets, lettuce, peas, salad mix, arugula, radishes. But you need to plan
ahead. Prepare your ground as soon as it is dry enough to work without
causing compaction. Go online or get on the phone and order seed
catalogs, or just order online. You can plant carrots, but they won't be
as sweet and tasty as summer planted winter carrots like Matt Martin
has at the Farmers' Market. February is also a good time to plant tomato
seeds in flats for early April transplanting. Come to the class for the
details on how to start your own transplants.
If you have a
winter garden growing, keep harvesting carrots, lettuce, spinach beets,
kale, broccoli, etc. No winter garden this year? How about planning to
do one this year. It is a good idea to plan your planting for succession
and rotation. I have to say my carrots have been my biggest success
this winter. The broccoli I planted yielded absolutely delicious shoots,
but no large heads. They are supposed to produce a lot of small side
shoots, so the jury is out on whether De Ciccio is a good variety for my
garden. If you have favorite varieties of vegetables or fruits, please
email me the details. We will compile a list for our local climate.
Details like where you got the seed, planting dates, harvest dates,
spacing you used would all be helpful.
It is one of the best things we can do for planetary healing. It's a lot
of fun too.
Valley Oak Tool Company
Chico CA 95927